Some of you may know that since mid-February, roughly about the time I started this blog, I’ve been experiencing a bit of a writing renaissance. Or, let me rephrase this: a rebirth of creative writing, because I was always busy writing articles, talks, research findings, blog posts. So much so, that I think it left me in a soapy bath of corporate-speak: dozy, inert, unwilling to step out of its reassuring warmth.
Since that time, however, writing has been pouring out of me like a water out of a burst watermain, and somehow this has survived two school holidays (one is still ongoing), a long bout of flu and a house move. Any of these factors by itself would have been enough to make me run and hide the manuscript/save the file in some obscure folder/dump it all in a box in the garage in the past. But now…
Now I even have time to read something other than just crime fiction (which I still love to read, but I think I was also using it too much to unwind and switch off my brain, instead of challenging myself with different kinds of writing). OK, compared with some of you voracious readers and book bloggers out there, I am very small fry indeed. I’ve calculated that I’ve read about 18 books in 10 weeks, which is 1.8 per week (even though I have more than one on the go at any given time). That is a very faint and far cry indeed from my teenage self, when I could devour that amount per day (and write extensive reviews of each one).
Anyway, because my nosey self always enjoys looking at other people’s reading lists, here are some of the more memorable books I’ve been reading these past ten weeks:
Fred Vargas: Dans les Bois Eternelles
Sheila Kohler: Becoming Jane Eyre
Chris Pavone: The Expats (I have a review of it here)
Orhan Pamuk: My Name Is Red (which I think I will review at some point)
Bret Lott: The Difference Between Women and Men
Patricia Duncker: The Strange Case of the Composer and his Judge
Robert Bly: Silence in the Snowy Fields (poetry)
Stanley Kunitz: The Wild Braid (talking about creativity and gardening)
Twyla Tharp: The Creative Habit (you can read my thoughts on it elsewhere on the blog)
Le Carré: The Constant Gardener
Fred Vargas: Sous les Vents de Neptune
Virginia Woolf’s Diary edited by Anne Olivier Bell (rereading)
Ha Jin: Waiting
Not a very impressive list, I’m sure, in terms of quantity at least. I’ve also been re-reading a couple of other books (poetry and novels), an anthology of short stories and the wonderful stories and poems that appear on so many of your blogs. With the exception of the last, what is the common trait of all of the above? That they are nearly all (‘The Expats’ is the sole exception) books that have been out for many years and that I had never got around to reading. Whether that means I am deeply unfashionable, badly out of date, or just starting to crank up my engine for becoming a good and prolific reader (and writer) once more, I don’t know.
Here’s to hoping…